Repair Radiator Hose: How to Remove Radiator Hose Clamps

What You'll Need
Pry bar

If you are trying to repair a radiator hose, then you need to know how to remove the radiator hose clamps which ordinarily keep the hose attached to the rest of the radiator. There are a number of different kinds of radiator hose clamp, so you may be presented with a clamp which is very different from your last car, or which you are not used to repairing. If you need to repair the radiator hose, and thus want to remove the clamp, then you need to know what kind you are dealing with.

Step 1 - Learn about Your Clamp

You will first have to learn what kind of clamp you have on your car. Check the clamp as it is attached to the hose. You may find a screw along the side of the clamp, which means that you have a band clamp, or you may have a crimping clamp, which actually attaches to the hose. These need to be removed after the hose, while the band can be unscrewed to release the hose without needing to remove it. If you have the crimp style clamp, then be sure to remove the hose before you continue to try and take off the clamp.

Step 2 - Remove the Anti-freeze

In order to begin the process of removing the hose clamps, you will first have to empty the radiator of coolant, or antifreeze. In order to do this, you need to place a bucket or tray underneath the radiator, and then use your wrench to open the petcock. This will allow the radiator to drain. Make sure that it is completely empty before you try to remove the hose, otherwise you will get anti-freeze everywhere. Tighten up the petcock when you have finished draining the radiator.

Step 3 - Loosen the Band Clamp

Take off the band clamp by inserting your screwdriver tip into the screw. You may need to turn it counter-clockwise, although this depends upon your position. You should begin unscrewing the clamp slowly, so that you will be able to feel it loosening, and will not be caught by surprise. Remove the clamp by lifting it out with your hand. When you are fitting the new clamp, be careful not to overtighten, as this can lead to strain on the hose.

Step 4 - Remove Crimping Clamp

In order to remove the crimping clamp, you will need to hold the two vertical bars of the clamp closed. Use a pair of pliers to do this. If you find that you are having trouble getting into position, squeeze the clamps together tightly enough to allow you to turn the clamp around, so that the tabs face upwards. You should then loosen any screws holding the clamp onto the hose, and lift it out of the way. You may need to lift it out of the direction of the hose using a pry bar in order to help you move the clamp.